Learning How to Research and Presenting it : Pandemic Edition

My research experience in the last two years has undoubtedly been the best learning experience I have ever had in my life. In my opinion, there are two major components to learning how to do research. First, it is imperative to learn more about how your PI thinks and develops projects, with focus on both…

Theatre and Collaboration: Finding a Mentor and Learning How to Teach

When people ask me how I found my faculty mentor for this fellowship, I tell them that it was actually flipped. My faculty mentor, Gianni Downs, sent me an email with this opportunity after I expressed interest in TA’ing his scene painting class. Together we worked on what this project could be and how I…

Finding My Own Path to Research

I first started to become involved in research in the Classics department in my first semester at Pitt. I emailed the chair of the department, Dr. Possanza, describing some of the topics that I was interested in and asked if there were any professors in the Classics department that he thought would be worth reaching…

My Neuroscience Research Journey

My research mentor for my fellowship this fall is Dr. Bill Yates, a professor in the Department of Otolaryngology at Pitt’s School of Medicine. For well over thirty years, Dr. Yates has been a major contributor to science in his research on the vestibular influences on cardiovascular regulation, neurobiology of motion sickness, multisensory integration of…

On Navigating Research (and the Values of Mentorship)

While most people find research mentors after already knowing what they want to study, I took a more unconventional route. I met Professor Bernard Hibbitts months before I even considered going into research. We met after I walked into an Honors College advising appointment, unsure of what to do with my life but interested in…

The Process is the Prize: Becoming a Researcher During a Global Pandemic

From the start, my initial connection to the Brodsky lab was a uniquely personal one. During my first year at Pitt, Dr. Brodsky presented the general concept of his research to my foundations of Biology II class as a guest speaker. While explaining his research involving diseases arising from abnormal protein degradation, he specifically mentioned…

Learning How to Conduct Research

I met my mentor Dr. Xiangyun Wei through the First Experience in Research (FER) program, which is available to any students who do not have prior research experience. I was drawn to Dr. Wei’s research on zebrafish genetics because I have been interested in studying gene regulation mechanisms since high school. His lab is focused…

My Skills Acquisition

Through my research experience, I have developed several transferable, or “soft” skills, which will be very useful in both my academic and professional career. The skill which first comes to mind is adaptability. As I am sure many can relate to, for me, this past year has been full of surprises, many of which did…

Learning Across Disciplines

One of the most valuable lessons I have learned in college is the importance of connecting with the people around me. Whether that is introducing myself to someone I am sitting near in the dining hall, attending office hours to ask questions and get to know my professors, or reaching out to classmates in a…

Introducing: The Pittsburgh Undergraduate Review

After a summer of planning and drafting, we are happy to announce the establishment of the Pittsburgh Undergraduate Review (PUR)! The PUR Editorial Board, sponsored by the University Honors College, is creating an interdisciplinary, peer-reviewed, undergraduate research journal that focuses on research and creative scholarship being done by students at Pitt. PUR strives to build…